Former La Crosse Police Chief Ed Kondracki was named the new chair of the Changing the Culture of Risky Drinking Behavior Coalition on Thursday morning.
The coalition says Kondracki's role will be to represent the coalition and work with local agencies to collaborate on effective policies and practices to reduce the negative effects of risky alcohol use.
Leaders of the coalition say Kondracki was a good fit for the position because of his efforts to reduce the negative impacts of risky alcohol use in La Crosse as police chief and as a community volunteer on area nonprofit boards.
Kondracki served on the Alcohol Task Force established by then-mayor John Medinger. While on the police force, Kondracki established the Alcohol Compliance and Education Team, which includes two officers dedicated to alcohol awareness, education and enforcement.
Kondracki currently serves on the board of Coulee Council on Addictions and the Salvation Army. He has served on the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and the United Way, where he co-chaired COMPASS 2 Community Needs Assessment that identified substance abuse as an area in need of attention.
Kondracki says the drinking problem is reaching epidemic proportions, but there are things the city can do to change that.
"What are we doing in our communities that might encourage binge and risky drinking and what are we doing that might discourage binge drinking, we need to focus on those policies and practices that discourage underage and binge drinking, and there's a lot to be done in that area," Kondracki said.
The former chief pointed out that 70-percent of domestic violence cases are alcohol related.
Kondracki retired as police chief in April 2012.